With the price of everything seeming to rise, the federal government is proposing an extension of benefits to keep millions of families connected.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is a long-term replacement for the Broadband Benefits Program that came into effect in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program provided assistance to ensure that Americans who were suddenly working from home or homeschooling children had high-speed, high-speed Internet access for that work.
The broadband benefit expired at the end of 2021.
The Affordable Connectivity Program offers families and individuals a rebate of up to $30 per month on the cost of home Internet. This is not a check, but most ISPs will discount the monthly bill. For those who qualify and live on tribal lands, the discount is $75 per month.
The Affordable Connectivity program also offers each eligible household a one-time $100 rebate towards the purchase of a desktop or laptop computer or tablet such as an iPad.
So who is eligible? Millions of people. If anyone in your household received a Pell Grant, free or reduced school meals, Medicaid, SSI, or any other government assistance program, they are eligible for the discounts.
Additionally, a household is eligible if the total household income is 200% or less of the federal poverty guidelines.
For example, a family of four is eligible if the total household income is $111,000 per year or less.
The same family in Hawaii qualifies if their income is less than $127,000 per year.
You can see if you qualify by going to the www.affordableconnectivity.gov website.
About 48 million families are eligible for this program, but most have not applied.